Threatening phone calls to woman alerted police to cell phone smuggled into jail

A former jail guard who smuggled a cell phone, tobacco and marijuana into the provincial jail has pleaded guilty to breach of trust.

James Tutton, 39, of Brackley, P.E.I. appeared Friday in provincial court in Charlottetown.

Court heard police were alerted last September, when a woman complained she was receiving threatening phone calls from a prisoner.

Facts of the incident were read in court Friday by Crown prosecutor Nathan Beck.

The RCMP major crimes unit launched an investigation. They discovered the calls to the woman originated from a phone belonging to the prisoner's son.

Court heard that phone calls from the provincial correctional facility are recorded for security purposes.

Recordings of calls made references to tobacco and marijuana smuggled into jail, according to Beck. 

Security cameras showed how Tutton got the phone to the inmate.

According to Beck, CCTV footage showed Tutton entering entering the male prisoners' washroom and then leaving, followed a few minutes later by the prisoner entering the washroom.

Phone hidden in shower

The cell phone was hidden behind a panel in the shower area of the washroom, according to Beck.

RCMP questioned the prisoner, who told them Tutton supplied tobacco to him and one other prisoner.

An unspecified amount of marijuana and tobacco, along with the phone, were given to Tutton outside the jail by a former jail guard, acting on behalf of the prisoner, according to facts read out in court.

The prisoner also told RCMP that Tutton "did it for the money," according to Beck.

Court heard Tutton was paid around $700 to $800.

There was no information available about whether the former guard and the prisoner have been charged.

In a statement to police, Tutton said he was having financial difficulties having recently separated from his wife.

On the job for 3 months

At the time of the incident, he had graduated from the Atlantic Police Academy and had been a corrections officer for three months, Beck told court.

Tutton was also working as a truck driver at the time.

His defence lawyer requested Tutton's sentencing hearing be adjourned until a later date.

Defence lawyer Brendan Hubley told court there are not many cases like this one.

Tutton had no prior criminal record.

He returns to court for a sentencing hearing in front of Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr Feb. 21.

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